“The Liberty of Self-Degradation”: Polygamy, Woman Suffrage, and Consent in Nineteenth-Century America

@article{Gordon1996TheLO,
  title={“The Liberty of Self-Degradation”: Polygamy, Woman Suffrage, and Consent in Nineteenth-Century America},
  author={S. Gordon},
  journal={The Journal of American History},
  year={1996},
  volume={83},
  pages={815-847}
}
  • S. Gordon
  • Published 1996
  • History
  • The Journal of American History
"These are strange times," charged Kate Field in 1886, "when a female Mormon lobby asks Congress to give to Utah the liberty of self-degradation!" The degradation Field spoke of was polygamy, a practice she condemned as "monstrous," a "rock that need[ed] blowing up with the dynamite of law." Popular lecturer, political activist, and arbiter of intellectual taste and fashion, Field was also a passionate opponent of polygamy and of the Mormon hierarchy that practiced it in Utah Territory. Her… Expand
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